10 Ways to beat the laundry blues

May 1, 2012 at 10:43 a.m. ET

Finding a better system and a few savvy laundry essentials can help you banish the laundry-day blues! Get organized and breeze through it!

Unhappy woman doing laundry

Is doing the laundry giving you the blues? A little organization and a better system might turn this household chore into a far easier task.

Take a look at your laundry room, your supplies and your system -- then get them spruced up, stocked up and streamlined to make laundry day a breeze!

Spruce it up

It's easier to work in a room that makes you feel happy! A fresh coat of paint, some handy storage solutions and a few personal touches make a big difference. You want the room to be functional and fun. A vintage sign, cheery potted plant or framed art prints add a lively touch to the room. Put up shelves or add a storage cabinet so all the supplies that you need are easily in reach. If space is an issue, rolling carts, wall-mounted valets and the use of vertical space can expand your options. Front-loading machines can be lifted to rest on bases with handy pullout storage drawers.

needle and threadHang a fix-it bag

Hang a bag in the laundry room for items that need repair. Having all your mending materials in one place means you can do repairs as time permits... or deliver the entire bag to a seamstress!

Tip: Keep a basic sewing kit in the laundry room to secure loose buttons before you wash. It’s also handy to have a bowl for small items you find in pockets as you sort clothes.

Divide and conquer

Don't wait until you're out of clean undies to toss in a load. Have a day for doing linens, whites and dark loads. Launder towels while you prepare dinner, and do the folding while you watch tv.

Separate with lingerie bags

Give everyone a mesh lingerie bag. Undergarments last longer washed in the bag, and you've just eliminated all of the sorting and folding!

Purex complete with ZoutUse the best products

Why take extra steps when excellent products have been formulated to help you? Purex Triple Action is a detergent and stain-fighter all in one. It smells great, really works well for removing stains -- and the various scents ensure that your clothes will always smell fresh and clean.

Laundry bags for all

Outfit each family member with his or her own linen laundry bag -- let each person decorate it with markers or fabric paint. Everyone fills their own bag and leaves it in a designated spot so the chore of gathering items needing washing is pared down. Keep a hamper in the bathroom or linen closet for used towels.

Give yourself space

If space permits, install a countertop so there's a place to fold clean laundry.

Keep socks together

Safety-pin socks! Pin pairs together at the heel before you wash... no more missing mates as they go through the wash and dry cycles.

Stock up

Organize your detergent, fabric softener and color-safe bleach where you can see them, and replenish supplies when they start getting low. It saves time and frustration to have your laundry room stocked and ready!

MugTake a break

Consider the wash and dry cycle times as your "coffee break!" Once you've loaded the washer or dryer, there's a slice of time to spare. Let the machine do the work while you enjoy a time out!

More tips

Stain-removal smarts: How to get stains out of your clothes
How to remove common kid-clothing stains
10 Best Ikea products to organize your home